Rare Americans Release Act II of ‘Searching for Strawberries: The Story of Jongo Bongo’

Alternative rock band Rare Americans have released Act II of their most ambitious project to date, Searching For Strawberries: The Story Of Jongo Bongo. This latest installment sees five new tracks added to the album. 

Combining a revolutionary 33-minute, fully animated musical feature and accompanying album to create an immersive listening experience, Searching For Strawberries tells the true story of Rare Americans multi-instrumentalist “Jongo” (real name Jan Cajka) and his transformation from corporate pawn to rock star. Take a trip with Jongo as he ditches the rat race and goes on a journey of self-discovery on the Santiago De Camino, a 900km pilgrimage through Spain. 

Album Art


Searching For Strawberries: The Story Of Jongo Bongo is rolling out in three parts, pairing the new music with the band’s signature animation. Act I is out now and has already garnered over 800K streams across platforms in just under two weeks with lead single “Milk & Honey” landing on Spotify’s New Music Friday Canada and Ready To Rock playlists as well as Apple Music’s New In Alternative and Shazam’s Best In New Music. Act III will be out on July 7th, when the entire album will be released, and will culminate with the release of the full animated musical film available for viewing in its entirety on 10th July. The album is available now for pre-save here.

Rare Americans’ lead vocalist James Priestner shares, “I’m really proud of what we accomplished. I think Jongo Bongo will be influential, and more artists will attempt to tell their stories in this animated album fashion in the near future. It’s so powerful for the listener and viewer to be able to see the story unfolding visually while synced perfectly with the music.

Hot on the heels of their recent international Milk & Honey tour, Searching For Strawberries: The Story of Jongo Bongo follows the success of the band’s four previously released albums and EP, Songs That Don’t Belong, in addition to a nomination as Breakthrough Group of the Year at the 2023 JUNO Awards. Rare Americans — consisting of lead vocalist James Priestner, bassist Jan Cajka, drummer Duran Ritz, and brother and co-writer Jared Priestner — have established an identity as inventive storytellers since their debut in 2018. Their songs, paired with narrative-driven animated videos have garnered them their first Billboard 100 album, a JUNO award for their most listened track to date, “Brittle Bones Nicky,” over 500 million streams, more than 875K YouTube subscribers, and media support from the likes of Alternative Press, Clash, Under The Radar, Vancouver Sun, American Songwriter, and FLOODamong others.

Photo by Jan Neumann

Rare Americans has built a passionate fanbase with their positive message, relentless work ethic, diverse sound, and captivating visuals. The genre-bending act have gone all in on building an animated universe via their own award-winning animation company, Crooked City Studios, producing content for the likes of HBO Max, New Balance, Jessie Reyez, and Donald Glover in addition to their own releases to pair with their musical output, making their fandom unique among other contemporary artists when it comes to how they engage with the group’s catalog.

Act I Track Listing:

1. Money

2. Milk & Honey

3. Stay Curious

Act II Track Listing:

1. 2 U’s

2. Northern Lights

3. Good Eats

4. Brothers

5. No Troubles

Act III Track Listing:

1. Sunday Morning

2. Fuck You Elmo

3. Moving Beyond

4. Odd Ducks